The other day I tweeted an incredible quote by Brian Houston. Now if you do not know who this is, I will save you the Google research and tell you he is the Global Pastor of Hillsong Church. Yea, the Hillsong, Hillsong United, Hillsong Young & Free, and whatever other bands their church may have. Now without getting into your thoughts of Hillsong, I just tell you who Brian Houston is to set you up for this quote.
“True relevance is measured by the distance between what you say and what you do. If your actions fail to line up with what you say, preach, or believe, then your message is irrelevant.”
I know many people disagree with the theology of Hillsong, but that is irrelevant to the quote. The purpose still stands that we as a church are called to walk the talk. I love the St. Francis quote “Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words.” Now I know full and well that we as a church must be talking the talk of truth and Scripture as well, but are we walking that talk? How big is the gap between what we say, preach, and believe from how we live?
Because like I mentioned in my post on Gen Z from yesterday (Click Here to Read), the younger generations especially are leaving the church because they do not see us walking the talk. The majority of people who leave the church initially leave because of a couple of reasons. Either they did not believe because they did not see the church taking Christianity seriously so it could not be real, or they did not believe because they deemed us as hypocrites and did not care. Many people who walked away from the church and say they do not believe in a god started off in one of these two camps.
Relevance does not mean that we are trying to blend with the culture around us, but rather that we are living out what we preach. Today, many of the megachurches are slowly losing members compared to smaller churches and multi-site churches which have smaller numbers. I believe this is directly related to the fact that in a smaller church you are more likely to know that people up front. Having interned in a megachurch, it could be easy to see the Senior Pastor as some super-human who is unrelatable simply because you do not know him. While I know this was not the case in my place, the distance from the stage can seem that way.
None the less, we are called to be relevant in our culture today if this is how we define relevant. The churches growing are the ones who people see are living out what they say they believe and allow newer members to join in the cause. This style of church not only shows our relevance and strengthens our witness, but it also allows members to serve the kingdom with their gifts.